FSBO, Day 4


Thursday Objective: Marketing Action Plans; Value – Customer Service – Net More

Salespeople call and get to their pitch quickly: Are you ready to list with me? Are you ready to hire an agent? Are you ready to turn this over to a professional?

That isn’t going to get you the deal.

You have to approach things differently. Make it about them, getting them more money, taking the work off their shoulders- the contracts, paperwork, stress- and ending up with the same amount of money. Offer to help them out. This isn’t Cold Calling.

As soon as you notice the FSBO enter the market:

The “Let me lend a hand” gift bag. Contains quart-size bottles of Windex, Mr. Clean, Murphy’s Oil Soap and a big pack of painter’s rags. Hand-write a note on your company stationary (add a photo of yourself to the stationary (NO Business Cards! No envelope – just fold text-side out, and stick it among the bottles).

The note should say something like, “Believe me, I know how much work goes into preparing your house for the market, so I hope these little things are useful for you or your cleaning crew. Sorry to see you leave the neighborhood, but best wishes on your next home.”

Please remember, you’re dealing with someone with an attitude toward Realtors®, so NO SELLING, NO PITCHING! Buy large, grocery-size gift bags and hang them on the front door knob. ALWAYS use the same color bag and the same letterhead. This consistency also shows you’re a tenacious marketer.

It’s time to call. Now that you have dropped off your gift bag to them, you aren’t really cold-calling anymore, which will make this easier. Now it’s warm calling.

After they have received your gift bag, they know your name, and when you call to follow up, you are a familiar face so to speak. They may open up and vent to you about these other agents hounding them to sign, sign, sign.

Their interaction with you, however, is friendly.

You can talk about other people you helped that were going the FSBO route. You can sympathize with them about their bad experiences involving people wanting to buy their home. You can share other FSBO experiences that the sellers had a bad experience trying to go it alone, but you want to be sure to do it discreetly.

The point is to not be the pushy salesman that everyone else is being.

You want to have a genuine connection.

In order for the gift bags to be effective, you have to follow up. Not sure how to do this effectively? We show you how.

Joe is a great example. He dropped off 10 gift bags to FSBOs and he had one call him back. Then, he got on the phone and called the other nine prospects. They knew his name, so he was already off to a good start, and he was able to get another 2 meetings from his efforts.

He could have stopped at the one that contacted him and had a 10% success rate. Instead, he took the initiative and reached out and ended up with a 30% success rate. The gift bags should be your foundation, what you use to get your name in their minds. But you must put in the time and effort if you want to see actual results. You want to become their consultant, not their salesman.

Your follow-ups are the time to provide value. Show them that what you do is good and can make their lives easier. Offer some pictures for their listing, answer questions they may have about contracts. You aren’t going to do anything extreme, like listing their home in the MLS for free (Silvercreek office policy doesn’t allow MLS Only listings).

Helping a FSBO may seem crazy, but if you are helpful and show up at just the right time and show them you offer something of value, you may find yourself getting the listing.

To get different results, you have to be willing to do things differently. You hear that you need to cold call for hours a day to get lots of listings, but how many of us are doing that and getting the results we would expect from our amount of work? Probably not too many of us.

Continue with 3 more gift bags, one gift bag every two days for the next week.

Two days later:

The “Curb Appeal” gift bag. Contains 10 yard waste bags from Lowe’s or Home Depot. The note is written to convey fact that curb appeal is the number one influence on a buyer’s decision. If you have teenage children or know some teenagers you can hire, offer to have two young persons come by on a specific day at a specific time to help with the yard work such as raking the lawn and flower beds. The note can say that one of your community services is supporting teens and it’s become a win-win for home sellers and the teenagers. Ask them to text if it is NOT OK for the kids to come by during the chosen time slot. You should drop off the kids and pick them up later. You’re still not ready to initiate a conversation.

Four days later:

The “Break Time” gift bag. Contains cookies, crackers, nuts, popcorn, and a few pint bottles of orange juice. Note says they’ve earned a break so have a snack and enjoy the satisfaction of all their hard work – “hang in there, it’s gonna pay off!”

Six days later:

The “Open House” gift bag. A CMA summary sheet; 2 plastic generic Open House signs; a thorough Open House Tip Sheet. Do NOT run a full CMA, just a one-pager that recommends what their house should sell for. The Tip Sheet should be exhaustive to let them know what you would do should you run it.

Eight Days later:

What can you do differently than everyone else in your area? I’ve done free pictures and gained a listing for $180,000.

I’d drop off my gift bags, and had my assistant call offering free professional photos of their home. Of course, they said yes; what surprised me was that one simple call also got me the listing.

The referral I mentioned earlier actually came about similarly. My assistant called to offer the free photos, but she wasn’t interested since her home had just sold. She was impressed by the offer so much though that she referred me to her friend. That home listed for $430,000.

It’s quick and easy and it’s different. You go in, spend about 30 minutes there, take about 20 photos and get on your way. The point is that the pictures will be better than what they have, so they will likely be pleased and impressed, and you have met them.

They see you as a normal person, and it can be the start of a good relationship. In the chance that they list their house, odds are they will come to you for it.

If you don’t have the time to take the photos, and you have the option, have your assistant handle the photography for you. You can stop by, briefly meet the owners, introduce yourself, and then let them know your assistant will be by shortly to get the photos taken. That gives two opportunities for a great impression.

The script used for these calls is quite simple and it can work for anyone.

“Hi, I’m calling about the home for sale. Is this the owner? My name is Ben. I’m a realtor here in Meridian. I dropped off a gift bag to help you. I’m not calling you to list your home. I wanted to see if I could offer you free professional quality pictures of your home. You can use those pictures to list your house for sale by owner. Do you think that’s something you’d be interested in?”

This provides a great opportunity to meet for a brief time, get yourself in the door and get them some good quality pictures. Free Pictures won’t sell their house. But, it will get you the listing.

The majority of homeowners don’t know how to market their home. Some free pictures are not going to be the thing that gets the house sold. Good marketing is essential to selling a house. While some FSBOs get lucky and sell their home without any marketing strategy, majority will not. And even then, the home will probably sell for less than it could have.

As you gain a relationship with the seller you will want to gather information during your interactions. Here is a list of sample questions to incorporate into your calls and visits.

  • Have you been getting any more interest in the home?
  • Why do you think it’s taking longer to sell?
  • What’s the most important thing to you, timing or price?
  • Have you talked to any other real estate professionals and what has been their advice?
  • Have you considered what you’ll do if it doesn’t sell? If it doesn’t sell, will you take it off the market and stay in the home?
  • Have you thought about working with a real estate agent?

Now it’s time to get started. A couple of quick and easy steps will get you on your way:

  1. Print out 10 FSBOs from Zillow.
  2. Drop off 10 gift bags
  3. Keep those 10 printouts in a folder and carry it with you. That way, when you are at home watching TV, or have some free time, you can take a look through them and think about what you could offer to help them out.

Maybe you notice poor pictures; offer them some professional photos for free. Maybe you find you could raise the price, improve the marketing,etc.

When you call them, try to get them talking. Ask about a certain feature in the home, get them to open up, find out why they are selling. Get to know their home, compliment it, make them feel good about it.

If they decide to sell with a Realtor, they are going to go with someone who knows their home and who loves it and sees the value they see in it. There are tons of things to ask about every home, so you should never run out of things to ask about when you call.

If you do things the way they are laid out, you will see great success in you market. You can be the one to dominate FSBOs.

This is an example of one type of action plan to provide value to FSBOs. But there are more out there – look them up. Make sure the plans you look at focus on the value you add.


Action Items:

  1. Research and study other action plans from books, videos, blogs and other sources like youtube.com and activerain.com.
  2. Pick a plan and own it.
  3. Start gathering and assembling your materials and take action.